By Clara Gallistl
Where did you fall in love and with whom?
If you were looking for a 10 word summary of Waves Vienna (“A” doesn’t count) then this is it: A refreshing weekend full of insights into contemporary European independent music. Refreshing, because it is something different, and continues to be different every year. It is a festival which is growing, changing and still finding itself, so you never know what to expect. Insightful, because there is always a little gem waiting around the corner for you, which surprises even the most dedicated Vienna-istas and music fans. Independent, because a lot of it is exactly that. There are not too many bands on major labels at Waves, some of them didn’t even have a label. This is the beauty of this little festival in the heart of Europe. Waves Vienna 2014 brought us sneak-peaks in show case manner, and taught us to find our own way through the labyrinth called First District Vienna. Offside Waves Conference, Waves Film Festival and the Bratislava connection, musically interested folks could enjoy (say it loud and write it out) one hundred bands in various known and new locations.
On top of all of that, there was the best invention since the incredibly cheap Early-Bird ticket: the Rave Tram, which took tired feet on a well-furnished auditory trip around the nightly Ring. Porgy & Bess is always a good place to be, and this time it took the audience by the hand and guided them onto the floor for one dance after the other. The crowds were blown away by the amazing Blues/Funk lady Y’akoto, followed by THE VOICE Kwabs on Thursday. Saturdays crowd could step to the beats of young English electronica with Koreless and Redinho, just to name two.
There was plenty of larger names this year as well, and those that felt like falling back into well-known territory after the incredible amount of new musicians joined the pack in midnight’s Brut on Saturday, to form a choir that sang along to every line of every Thees Ullmann & Band song. It was a crowd that left the aged-but-still-young singer (“An old man is no fast train, but as long as he looking like an ICE.”) randomly screaming for joy.
Big thanks to the fantastic, hard working team of Waves! We all hope you keep on doing what you do, and we all wish you better funding to pay those sweet and motivated interns, that help out for free every year. I guess every human wave that swirled around those nights found their personal new discovery. The question remains the same after every Waves festival: Where did you fall in love and with whom?